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Changes in Foreigners’ Work Permit in China

Since 1 April 2017, China shall implement a new work permit rule for foreigners in China by issuing “Notification of Work Permit for Foreigners” and “Work Permit Certificate for Foreigners” instead of “Work Permit for Foreign Experts” and “Work Permit for Foreigners” or other relevent certificates. The old Permits issued before within valid period continue to be valid, or, they can choose to change to a new certificate volunteerly.

The new regulation is aimed to simplify application requirements, unify the management of foreigners’ certificates and optimize the approval process for foreigners, and therefore help employers hire foreign experts more conveniently.

According to the new approval process, the application needs to be pre-approved in online system first. It would take around 5 working days to get the pre-approval result. Only after the online pre-approval is granted can applicants submit the paper documents for further review. It would take around 5-10 working days to get the work permit after the paper documents are submitted. For foreigners applying for the new work permit or extension of work permit, it is suggested that the application should be started at least two months in advance to make sure the visa is within valid period. Otherwise, there may be a risk that the visa expires during the application process and the work permit can not be obtained. Please kindly be reminded that visa application process is complicated and there are risks of being rejected. So, to handle the Permit as early as possible is crucial.

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